Trick or Treat! Candy Apples and Sponge Toffee

Candy+Apples+2 Trick or Treat! Candy Apples and Sponge Toffee

Trick or TrEAT!

Today nine of my favourite food, craft and lifestyle bloggers await behind nine haunted houses (undoubtedly catching up on their sleep) with an array of scary holiday treats created just for you. At the end of this post you’ll find links to the next houses on the block, which will in turn direct you to the next, and so on. It’s like real trick-or-treating, isn’t it? Except that you won’t accidentally eat a dozen mini chocolate bars or need to bundle a snowsuit under your costume, and in fact we won’t even know if you don’t put on a costume at all. (Or hey-if you’ve eaten way too many mini chocolate bars you can always blame it on the “bulky snowsuit” under your clothes.) Just curl up with your laptop and a mug of something warm (and/or boozy) and come visit the people in our neighbourhood.

I have to admit I like the idea of candy apples much more than the apples themselves; the caramel variety is almost impossible to get a grip on, the caramel slipping across the smooth apple skin as you plow it with your teeth. And I’m never quite sure how to approach the hard red candy kind; there is no way to be delicate when sweet shards are shattering all over your face, sticking to your cheeks. That said, I can’t let Halloween go by without making them.

While we’re being honest, I may as well admit that I don’t generally make the caramel kind because those little square caramels and I have a history; namely I was completely and all-encompassingly addicted to them a few years back. It was right after W was born, when people kept saying to me “you’re breastfeeding – you can eat whatever you want and you’ll totally lose weight!” Bollocks. I of course wanted to believe this and so put it to the test, downing my own weight in caramels daily. Their little wrappers were everywhere, even though I grabbed them and stuck them in my pockets anytime I went from room to room. I got panicky whenever my stash ran low. When I got a batch that were on the hard side, I carried them in my pockets until they softened up. Two months and 25 pounds later (I’m not even exaggerating) I had to quit cold turkey.

Even if I made the caramel from scratch, which is easy enough, I don’t trust myself not to overdo the taste testing – I have been known to singe my tongue licking out the pot. (Yes, using a spatula.) Besides, I love the look of red candy apples. I can admire them, and let the kids go bonkers for them, and not feel like I’m missing out on actually eating them.

Candy+Apple+1 Trick or Treat! Candy Apples and Sponge Toffee

Red Candy Apples

Apples that come pre-bagged tend to be smaller than those you pick from the display; the smaller ones are a better choice for candy apples. Make sure they are well washed and dried before you begin.

about a dozen small apples
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
several drops red food colouring

lollipop sticks, wooden popsicle sticks or small bamboo skewers

Wash and dry your apples; insert lollipop sticks, wooden popsicle sticks or small bamboo skewers into the stem end and set aside; line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.

Combine all the ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar (this is important – it will prevent crystallization, just stop stirring once the mixture comes to a boil). Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until the mixture reaches 300F.

Immediately dip the apples by holding them by the stick and submerging them completely in the candy; tilt the pan as you need to in order to coat them well. If you would like to add candies or other toppings, sprinkle them over the apples (or dip their bottoms into a shallow bowl before the candy sets), then set them stick-up on the lined baking sheet. Set aside to harden and cool.

Once completely cooled, wrap each candy apple in cellophane. Makes about a dozen.

Sponge toffee was my favorite treat (OK, one of many) when I was a kid – my Mom would buy little blocks of it wrapped in cellophane for my sisters and I at the grocery store, and when we went skiing we’d always stop in Banff for chocolate covered chunks of it. (My sisters were always lured in by the candy apples.)

Sponge+Toffee Trick or Treat! Candy Apples and Sponge Toffee

Sponge Toffee

For something similar to a Crunchie bar (but far better), dip cooled chunks into melted chocolate and set on waxed paper until set.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 tsp. baking soda

Line a 9″x13″ pan with foil.

Combine the sugar and syrup in a heavy medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. (Make sure there is lots of room in the pan for the mixture to foam up when you stir in the baking soda.) Stir until the sugar begins to melt. Continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until the mixture turns a deep amber. Watch it carefully – sugar burns fast!

Remove from heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. It will foam up like a science experiment! Quickly pour it into the pan and set aside for an hour, or until set. Peel off the foil and break into chunks to serve. Serves about 10.

Whooo’s Next? To see what our other blog hosts have cooked up for your creating / eating / decorating pleasure, click on one of the haunted homes below!

houses 0003 cupcake 300x300 Trick or Treat! Candy Apples and Sponge Toffee
houses 0000 closet cooking 300x300 Trick or Treat! Candy Apples and Sponge Toffee

pixel Trick or Treat! Candy Apples and Sponge Toffee
button print gry20 Trick or Treat! Candy Apples and Sponge Toffee

October 25 2009 11:58 pm | sweet stuff

34 Responses to “Trick or Treat! Candy Apples and Sponge Toffee”

  1. Cheryl on 26 Oct 2009 at 6:48 am #

    I saw this on a craft blog I subscribe too. Lovely company in all!
    Off to make my caramel apples on BT. Post up later.
    Happy trick or treating!

  2. Lori @ Culinary Covers on 26 Oct 2009 at 7:04 am #

    So cool! I’m with you on the whole apple thing- they always *look* appealing, but the idea of trying to eat the messy treat is tough to grasp! I made caramel apples the other day and ended up cutting them up to eat them.

    That spongy toffee looks so cool- have never seen that before!

  3. Barbara Bakes on 26 Oct 2009 at 7:30 am #

    I definitely need to try the Sponge Toffee. It reminds me of the See’s toffee chocolates that I love.

  4. Carrie @ Deliciously Organic on 26 Oct 2009 at 7:44 am #

    What a great post! The sponge toffee looks very fun!

  5. Erica B. on 26 Oct 2009 at 7:46 am #

    I’m not one to turn down sweets (my scale can attest) but I’ll pass on candied apples, and well I can think of better vehicles for caramel too. We are probably passing on Halloween altogether this year. ‘A’ has been sick with what might be H1N1 or a sinus infection since friday. ‘C’, ‘J’ and I woke up coughing this morning. Something tells me we’re trick or treating at home this year.

    Ok I’m off to Trick or Eat :)

  6. Manon from Ontario on 26 Oct 2009 at 8:19 am #

    Julie I LOVE YOU!

    Thank you soo much for the candy apple recipe. I’ve been looking for a homemade recipe for a while, and boom I read your blog and voila, you give me this gift!
    With my apple orchard, this will come in handy.

    Thanks a million Julie girl :)

    MFO

  7. erin on 26 Oct 2009 at 9:00 am #

    Julie – thank you for this cool looking sponge toffee recipe – another thing I didn’t know you could make at home! I will definitely be trying it this weekend.

  8. Rhonda Steed on 26 Oct 2009 at 9:37 am #

    oh i’ll totally be trying that candied apple recipe! thanks!!!

  9. Megan on 26 Oct 2009 at 10:44 am #

    The toffee looks amazing, and sort of spooky in context.

  10. Pam on 26 Oct 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Julie,
    Candy Apples! They always remind me of Halloween, well, that and amusement parks. Your discription of the carmel addiction was very funny to read (probubly because if it wern’t for the annoying wrappers, I myself would have joined the carmel addicts anonymous) If you have trouble fighting the evil temptaions of carmel, might I suggest fudge apples? It might be worth looking into and they are my personal favorite.
    P.

  11. Brooke on 26 Oct 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    Julie!

    This post is utterly delightful. Ever since you told me you’d be posting on Sponge Toffee, I’ve been DYING to know what it is. Whoever thunk up that recipe is PURE genius! I’m totally making it this weekend with my kids.

    Yummaroo! Thanks so much for being part of Trick-Or-Eat!

  12. Elaine on 26 Oct 2009 at 12:45 pm #

    Oof, that sponge toffee looks like something I have to force myself NOT to make, otherwise the easiness + tastiness of the thing would have me totally at its mercy.

  13. Veggie Wedgie on 26 Oct 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    I love sponge toffee! I call it honeycomb candy. It’s so much fun and so easy to make it!

  14. Cary on 26 Oct 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    The sponge toffee: how long will it keep in an airtite container? I’d love to include it in my christmas goodie boxes for everyone at work, but I’d have to work a little ahead as there are probably 60 to make!

  15. The Duo Dishes on 26 Oct 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    The sponge toffee looks so fun! Almost like honeycomb.

  16. Kevin on 26 Oct 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    Those candy apples look so good! It has been far too long since I last had one.

  17. Alli on 26 Oct 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    I used to love making sponge toffee too it was so much fun to watch it bubble. Great idea for the Blog to Blog Halloween visiting!

  18. jenny on 26 Oct 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    i just tried to make the sponge toffee (i also call it honeycomb candy, like veggie wedgie), and it tasted like burnt baking soda! i double, triple, bazillion-le checked the recipe, and i swear i can measure! did yours turn out poorly?

  19. JulieVR on 26 Oct 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Mine turned out great – it’s in the photo! I’ve made it a ton of times – I wonder what happened?

  20. Hanna on 26 Oct 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    could you make the toffee with honey? I never have corn syrup around anymore.

  21. Manon from Ontario on 26 Oct 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    Jenny, you must remove the toffee from the heat before adding the baking powder. It happened to me in the past.

    Thanks again Julie :)

  22. Cakelaw on 26 Oct 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    Love your sponge toffee!

  23. Daniel on 26 Oct 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    Just tried the sponge toffee. Man, it’s good! Like you say like a Crunchie or Violet Crumble.

    Mine didn’t turn out with those big, fluffy holes like your pic shows, though. I wonder if I stirred too much or something. I used a wisk — maybe that was the issue. Anyhow, it’s still pretty dang good!

    Thanks!

  24. JulieVR on 26 Oct 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    The whisk may have deflated them a little – I always use a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon! Glad you liked it!

  25. Vivian on 26 Oct 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    What a brilliant idea to take a theme, link and post and by so doing introduce us to (in my case) 6 new and fascinating blogposts! I’m loving it. Sure does compensate for the lack of trick-or-treating in my neighbourhood. Love all the recipes and kudos to the graphic designer who so creatively linked all of the blogs via great illustrations (my former field). Well done all ’round! I look forward to more such endeavours. Might I just add that, as a confirmed foodie, I would like every post to incorporate that aspect? Although the craft doll was topnotch, it was kind of left hanging amidst all the recipes and such. Just some “creative”(?)input. Not complaining, just my opinion.

  26. robyn on 26 Oct 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    Keep in mind that depending on where you live, the toffee may not turn out like the picture….here in Vancouver it doesn’t “fluff” up as much! But it’s still tasty!

  27. Amanda on 27 Oct 2009 at 5:39 am #

    I’m loving this, so fun :)

  28. Angie on 27 Oct 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    I love that sponge toffee, I have never heard of it or seen it before, great information and recipe! I love caramel apples too, great for Halloween!

  29. Cyndi on 28 Oct 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    Sponge Toffee! Egads! You’ve really brought back some great memories!

  30. malia on 28 Oct 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    I’ve discovered that the tiny ‘lady apples’ make wonderful caramel apples. They are about 5 bites. I use the little sticks, and adults love them. I’m going to make them with your recipe, right now.

  31. Debbie on 29 Oct 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Such a fun idea that you guys have shared with us. I will be back to visit your blog more often now that I have discovered it. Thanks again.

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